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Same Day Surgeries Increasing at NHP

By: Jason Bortz , Defense Visual Information Distribution Service 
Published: 4/12/2018 10:16 AM

​Naval Hospital Pensacola (NHP) has made significant enhancements recently to improve surgical services provided to the over 55,000 patients enrolled to NHP and the thousands of eligible beneficiaries that utilize surgical services at the hospital.

The improvements have increased the number of outpatient surgical cases performed at NHP as the hospital prepares to transition to an ambulatory care model with robust same-day surgeries in July.

After July, the hospital will only perform outpatient surgical cases, which is already the majority of cases performed at NHP. In 2017, NHP performed approximately 3,100 outpatient cases compared to less than a 1,000 inpatient cases. For 2018, NHP is expecting to increase the number of outpatient surgeries performed to 3,900.

“As medicine has improved, the vast majority of surgical cases performed are outpatient cases,” said Cmdr. Zhengshi Song, director for surgical services at NHP. “The increase in outpatient cases isn’t just here at Naval Hospital Pensacola, but across the entire medical community. More and more, patients can have a surgery done in the morning and can be home in their bed that same night.”

To increase outpatient cases performed at NHP, the hospital completed a renovation to convert one of the operating rooms into a urological cystoscopy suite and installed a state of the art cystoscopy table. The hospital’s two urologists have completed over 40 urological procedures in the new suite and anticipate adding 200 surgical cases annually that were previously referred to a civilian network facility.

NHP’s two otolaryngologists have also recently gained full credentials and privileges at a local children’s hospital that allows them to perform pediatric tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies and provide post-operative care at the children’s hospital if necessary. Adenoidectomies are the surgical removal of adenoids that impair breathing through the nose or cause recurrent earaches.

NHP has also increased the number of outpatient orthopedic surgeries by 24 percent over the past year. Some examples of same day orthopedic surgeries done at NHP include rotator cuff repairs, Achilles tendon repairs, bunion surgeries and more. Most sport procedures, which include arthroscopy procedures, basic hand and elbow procedures, tendon repairs, fractures and foot and ankle procedures, are also outpatient surgeries performed at NHP.

The Main Operating Room at NHP also attained CNOR Strong certification for the third consecutive year in 2018. This certification is awarded to hospitals where at least 50 percent of its eligible perioperative nurses are CNOR certified. All perioperative registered nurses at NHP are CNOR certified.

“Our surgeons are very busy and will remain busy after we transition to an ambulatory care model in July,” said Capt. Amy Branstetter, commanding officer, NHP. “For those few cases we can’t perform here, we’ll make sure our patients are referred to a civilian network and will receive the care they need and deserve as part of our military family.”

To assist patients referred to another medical facility for inpatient surgeries or other care, NHP is creating a team of care coordinators to ensure patients enrolled to NHP are provided with the necessary care. The team will monitor a patient’s care and will help with making follow-up appointments with the patient’s primary physician at NHP.

A referral from a primary care manager is the first step to having a surgery at NHP. Patients enrolled to NHP will be referred to a surgeon within the hospital and many outpatient surgeries performed at the hospital are also available for TRICARE Select beneficiaries. To check on availability of services at NHP, TRICARE Select beneficiaries can contact the Health Benefits Office at (850) 505-6916.

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